St. Patrick Church
Included in the St. John XXIII structures is a church for occasional use: St. Patrick, (Ryan), Merrill, MI.
St. Patrick church does not have any regularly scheduled weekend Masses, but may be used for funerals and weddings of those who were members when the merger took place. The church may also be used for other liturgies on occasion or possibly for devotional prayer at times of the year like Lent or Advent, etc.
The history of St. Patrick’s
St. Patrick was a missionary and bishop and is the patron saint of Ireland. The feast day of St. Patrick is March 17.
On August 23, 1875, Fr. Reinus Van derHeyden was given a deed from Thomas and Sarah Ryan, through the bishop of Detroit, for a section of their land in Porter Township. A chapel was erected in 1876. The first church was completed in 1889 and dedicated by Bishop H.J. Richter of Grand Rapids. The first parish congregation consisted of predominantly Irish members with a small number of French-Canadians and one German family.
A treasure of this location is the five priests, seven religious and two deacons who trace their beginnings to the church. The stained glass windows and rural look and size of the church make St. Patrick a welcoming, spiritual dwelling.